The benefits of composting are abundant; you’ve probably been hearing that for several years now. But going green in the workplace and at home can seem complicated to newbies. By taking a few extra seconds to sort the trash from the potentially compostable materials, you are preventing the growth of toxic garbage dumps while enhancing your garden’s growing potential.

Contrary to what you might think, though, reducing your carbon footprint while enriching your garden soil doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out chore. While many things can be composted, they might require several additional steps, such as shredding, separating, chopping…plus some things might just gross you out (nail clippings? Used tissues and cotton swabs?). We aren’t quite there yet.

This list, however, includes a number of easy items you can compost that will have a great impact today, tomorrow, and in the future. Let’s get started!

Dryer Lint

You have to clean out the dryer vent every couple of cycles, so why not go the extra mile and give the lint back to Mother Earth? It might not seem like much of a gift, but she’ll appreciate it…really.

Dead houseplants, Flowers and/or Trimmings

While you have been lamenting over your lack of a green thumb for several years, you can now inform your friends: “Actually, I kill my plants so I can compost them. It’s my eco-friendly duty.”

And if your roommate or cubicle neighbor is the cutesy type that is always getting red roses from romantic suitors, you can glean some satisfaction from stuffing those wilting roses down the composting chute.

Ground Coffee beans and Filters

Composting office supplies comes easy when you keep a small container nearby, clearly labeled to indicate what its primary use is for. Each time you empty out the coffee filter, dump the coffee grinds into a resealable container (we recommend that now-empty pasta dish from lunch) and bring it home. This stuff is great for soil after it’s spent some time in the old compost heap.

Pencil Shavings

Might we also suggest saving those precious wooden shavings each time you sharpen that #2 pencil? Those wooden flakes are great for warding off bugs in the garden, too. What a wonderful example of a tree coming full circle!

Egg Shells

Egg shells are practically a composting freebie. Unlike leaving unused fruits and veggies in a counter top container for a couple days, egg shells won’t quickly gather mold and a stench to match. Just crumble the shells with your hands directly onto the compost heap whenever you have a spare 20 seconds.

Tea Bags

Tea bags are another super simple, compact package of nutrients ready for the compost pile. You can usually get a couple uses out of them for beverage purposes before you’ll have to toss them out, ready for another cycle of purposefulness. If you’re at work, just store those tea bags in an old Altoids tin or an old sandwich baggie for safekeeping until you get home.